Minnesotans and runners from all over the world are stressing over a protest planned to disrupt this weekend’s Twin Cities Marathon.
The St. Paul chapter of the group Black Lives Matter is planning to “become the finish line” just about one mile from the actual end of the race, organizer Rashad Turner told CBS.
Turner said, “Our job as an organization is to keep the pressure on. Our job is to let the community know that every day we are planning on dismantling white supremacy.”
Now, city officials and race organizers are scrambling to ensure the safety of all participants, volunteers and spectators on race weekend.
“The chapter says the protest is in response to recent St. Paul police actions,” race organizers stated on Facebook. “City officials are advising on logistics and recommendations and we will share that with you as soon as it is available. We ask for your patience as we work on this, and want to reiterate that your safety is our highest priority.”
Meanwhile, Black Lives Matter supporters have dubbed the event hashtag #BlackMarathon to talk about the protest on Twitter.
Black Lives Matter St. Paul organizers wrote the following on its Facebook page: “#BlackMarathon will disrupt, #BlackMarathon will bring awareness, #BlackMarathon will bring us closer to ending white supremacy and the institutions that enable it … For anyone who believes that a person’s journey to completing a marathon is more important than our journey to being liberated as a people, you are under the mind control of white supremacy, and it’s time to free yourself.”
Christina Juva from New York is running the 10-mile race, and she says she is considering canceling her trip.
“I am thinking of not going,” said Juva. “With all of the people in for the race and this protest, I just don’t know if the police can handle it.”
Others have flocked to Twitter and the race organizer’s Facebook page to voice their frustration: